Riding the White Pass & Yukon Railroad Through the Mountains

By Gary Arndt

The Green Report

Last June I was invited by Yukon Tourism to visit the territory. While I was there, we drove from Whitehorse to Fraser, British Columbia, to ride the White Pass & Yukon Railroad. The route goes over the mountains from Fraser, B.C., to Skagway, Alaska. The railroad was built for miners to easily get supplies over the mountains during the Klondike Gold Rush. The original route was a very difficult climb up the mountains with the ton of supplies that the RCMP required prospectors to bring into the territory. The original railway extended all the way up to Whitehorse, but today it only goes to Fraser.

Today, the railroad is mostly for tourists and people who stop in Skagway on cruise ships. Despite its short length (only 27.7 miles), it offers some of the most spectacular scenery you will see in the world. The train is also used to drop off hikers and backpackers who explore the backwoods of Alaska. A one-way ticket from either Fraser or Skagway is $81 and a passport is required for the trip as you are crossing an international boundary.

I took this trip about a week before the summer solstice to give you an idea how long snow stays on the mountains.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/09/riding-the-white-pass-yukon-railroad-through-the-mountains/245234/